If you’re new to the digital marketing scene, then there are probably some terms you’re not aware of. It can all be very confusing, and not knowing whom to ask for help can leave you feeling like you’re up a creek without a paddle. One confusing aspect of digital marketing is figuring out a buying model.
Instead of floundering all by yourself, here are the different kinds of buying models, fully explained, so that you can figure out the best one for you. However, it’s essential to look at some good strategies for purchasing models beforehand.
It’s Important to Strategize
First, what is the primary purpose of your campaign? Are you looking for more social engagement? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Who doesn’t want more clicks on their site? Having a goal to focus on will help you to choose a model that works best.
Identify And Find Your Target Audience
If you already have a market affiliation network in place, the work is likely already done for you. If not, then you’re going to have to do some research to figure out whom you want your ad campaign to target. Also, consider what kind of media you want these campaigns to be displayed on.
Look At Results and Optimize
Once you’ve put the campaign out there, then it’s time to look at the results. Examine your gathered data to see how well your ads perform; you must not act on this data too quickly. You have to collect enough data to see exactly how your campaign is doing before making significant decisions.
Now that you know what you should keep in mind and what goals you should be striving for in your ad campaign, here are the most common buying models for you to consider as a market affiliate.
CPM: Cost Per Thousand
CPM is an acronym for cost per thousand impressions. (M is a Roman numeral for 1,000,) It is one of the most common ways to buy digital media. You’re paying for every time your ad loads on a webpage or in an app on someone’s smartphone. It is the easiest way to buy media, but it has become a bigger problem since you’re paying for each impression, not how many consumers see it. That can lead to ads stacked on top of each other so that the consumer isn’t seeing them.
A CPM is excellent for brand campaigns but doesn’t do very well in performance campaigns since no conversions are involved.
CPC: Cost Per Click
CPC, also known as cost per click, is another simple media buying model. You only pay when there is a click on your ad; otherwise, you’re not shelling out any money. It is often preferable since you only pay when a customer shows interest in seeing more information about what you’re offering.
However, this method also has the potential for fraud since a company can use bots to artificially inflate clicks on ads that a real person hasn’t initiated. It’s one reason you should consider fraud prevention solutions with your market affiliate so that you’re only getting what you pay for.
CPL: Cost Per Lead
This model is not very common for mobile marketers or those who are consumer-focused, so you’ve probably never heard of it before. CPL stands for cost per lead. That means paying a publisher or a market affiliate when a lead form is completed and submitted. It is more common in the B2B marketing scene, where it is unlikely that a consumer will make an immediate purchase. Although it is cost-effective to buy, there is a risk of fraud bots filling in leads automatically.
CPA/CPS: Cost Per Action/Cost Per Acquisition/Cost Per Sale
This media buying model has many names, but the most commonly used is CPA/cost per action. It means that you pay for specific actions taken by a user in your app, whether registering for an account or completing a purchase through the app.
So you only pay when something happens, i.e., you pay when there is a conversion. It’s a low-risk way of buying media, but it doesn’t work well for media companies since they assume all of the risks in the ad buy; they make no money without a purchase.
CPI: Cost Per Install
CPI stands for cost per install. More importantly, it is a widespread practice for campaigns on mobile apps. CPI occurs when the advertiser pays for every installed app. Most app marketing is done through CPI because it is the fastest and easiest way to drive installs on consumer devices. However, they may not have any control over the quality of installs since they can vary between media vendors. Some vendors are pretty reputable and do the work of finding people likely to use the app, while others use incentives in one app to get users to install another app; it’s the latter that tends to lead to “low quality” installs.
Fraud can occur here, too. How? People use bots to drive CPI campaigns to collect revenue. There is also a phenomenon called “install farms.” People will manually install apps on hundreds and thousands of devices to drive revenue.
So, Which Buying Model Is Best?
There’s no way of answering this question correctly because every producer is different. Not every model will work for everyone. It depends on your target and the overall marketing objectives you’re trying to achieve. Also, what your media partners are willing to do for you. Regardless, your focus should be to have high-quality, unbiased information about your campaign results.
Most advertising vendors reverse engineer a CPM into whatever model they choose to buy. For example, if you have a marketing campaign good at driving clicks, you can always reverse engineer a CPC into a CPM. But overall, you should go for a model that garners the attention of high-quality users and ensures that they engage with your ads. More importantly, hopefully, you can retain them as consumers.
If you can pick your media buying model, you should choose one with a guarantee of return. There are drawbacks to CPM, such as paying a lot of money with no visible impact on consumers, while with a CPI, you can end up with low-quality installs that can harm your brand.
No matter which buying model you go with, it’s best to have an unbiased fraud-finding system in place to measure your accurate results for all your campaigns instead of the inflated figures generated by bots.